SHOW & TELL

Mozambique 2014 | DIPLOMACY | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister of Energy of Scotland, on relations between Scotland and Mozambique in the hydrocarbon arena.

In 2013 Aberdeen hosted a high-level government delegation from Mozambique to share its experience in developing oil and gas infrastructure. What role can Scotland play as a partner in helping Mozambique to develop its emerging offshore gas industry?

Scotland has an incredible wealth of energy resources from a range of technologies, which could help Mozambique fully capitalize on its oil and gas industry. Oil and gas is the largest industry in Scotland, and over the past four decades oil and gas production in the North Sea has created a strong supply chain, a skilled workforce, a renowned academic sector, and well-developed energy infrastructure. We have developed specific strengths in several key areas, which have helped to transform developments globally as well as at home. Scottish industry has taken drilling and well technology to new levels, while the subsea-engineering technology now deployed around the world was borne out of necessity in North Sea waters. Much of the global subsea activity is now developed, designed, and delivered in Scotland. The subsea market is predicted to double over the next five years, and with the UK accounting for one-third of the current market, we will have a significant role to play in this growth. We've also developed world-class expertise in many other areas including production and process management, asset integrity, downhole technology, and project management

How can Mozambican companies benefit from Scotland's experience and expertise in the oil and gas industry?

Scottish companies have a significant amount of expertise, built up over the past 40 years, which could benefit Mozambican companies. For example, according to Ernst & Young's review of the UK oil field services industry in 2012, the supply chain across the UK has achieved revenues of over $39 billion a year. In Scotland alone, there are 2,000 companies operating in the supply chain, and although there is a concentration around Aberdeen, many of these are in different locations across Scotland. These span the entire oil and gas upstream lifecycle, through exploration, development, production, and decommissioning.

“Scottish companies have a significant amount of expertise, built up over the past 40 years, which could benefit Mozambique."

What makes Mozambique an attractive destination for Scottish investment?

The Africa region continues to act as one of the primary drivers of the deepwater industry alongside the Gulf of Mexico and Brazil. Indeed, current exploration and production drilling activities in the Gulf of Guinea and offshore Mozambique and Tanzania have increased global demand for deepwater drilling assets. Successes in these markets are adding additional fields to the region's development backlog and further establishing Africa as a hub of deepwater activity. In particular, new exploration, such as the offshore Rovuma basin in Mozambique and Tanzania, has the potential to boost regional production and exports substantially. Scotland's significant offshore experience, built up over 40 years of harsh conditions in the North Sea, means our companies are ideally placed to support Mozambique as it realizes its potential in this area.

How would an independent Scotland leverage its expertise in the oil and gas sector to build diplomatic relationships internationally?

An independent Scotland will continue to develop relationships internationally to promote its expertise within the oil and gas industry worldwide. We will use Scotland's place in the world and our approach to global affairs to develop Scotland's economy, which will be key to ensuring the continued and increased prosperity of the nation.

What role are Scottish investors playing in the Mozambican economy?

Sustainable Energy Scotland and Scottish Development International assist companies to internationalize, with a number of companies evaluating locations for future expansion. Africa is a key market for us and information continues to be gathered to inform companies of the opportunities.

What is your outlook for the future of economic relations between Scotland and Mozambique?

Scotland is keen to strengthen economic relations between our country and Mozambique. Developing close links with our research and academic institutions, as well as our oil and gas businesses, will be beneficial for both parties.

© The Business Year - November 2013